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The cloud with the golden lining

2 min read

Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave somewhere, you’ll have found it hard to avoid the fact that ‘cloud computing’ is everywhere. Essentially, cloud computing is about operating software across the internet to allow end-users to benefit from big economies of scale. These opportunities aren’t only for cost reduction – they’re also about a new functionality that has never been possible before.

As each year goes by, more and more solutions are becoming available through the cloud, and it is time for organisations to ask why they should continue to shell out on expensive, time-consuming infrastructure when they don’t need to.

As an example, look at an email or a phone system – you plumb them in (expensively) and then manage them (expensively) forever more. If they break, you fix them (expensively), and then three or four years into their life you (expensively) upgrade them to get the next bit of basic functionality from them that you need.

An organisation should be spending its time and resources on something more useful. The reality is that now there are real solutions out there for organisations, where the ‘nuts-and-bolts’ headaches belong to someone else. You can still own your data (and can do what you like, when you like, with your data), but it just sits somewhere else that is probably 50 times more secure than your own network could ever be.

Probably even more importantly, the cloud is not just about saving money on infrastructure. It’s also about opening up opportunities to connect with people in ways that couldn’t be imagined previously. Many of the modern cloud-based systems were built with the web in mind from day one – the same just can’t be said for most of the software that is built for stand-alone systems that are designed to trap you in one way of working. If your organisation’s future is going to depend on connecting with the next generation of donors or members, you really need to make sure you’ve thought about your software vendor’s track record in this space.

Lastly, there’s the whole business model – most cloud companies rent you the systems so that you can pay per-user, per-month. Upgrades happen all the way along and you get an almost instant return on your investment if you’ve picked the system well.

If you want to know more, appiChar can help you understand where to go next. We offer our appiCloud service which can help you move your network infrastructure into the cloud quickly and easily or through our constituent relationship management system, donorForce.

Ian Ryder is the managing director of appiChar Australia which provides a range of IT services to the not-for-profit sector. Visit or email Ian at {encode=”” title=””}

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